MARGAO: A delegation of the All Goa Senior Citizens’ Federation met Social Welfare Minister Subhash Phal Dessai in the State’s commercial capital to discuss several issues faced by the senior citizens across Goa.
After the meeting, the delegation led by Federation president Diago D’Costa and other members stated that they were hopeful that the Minister would fulfil the assurances given to them.
The senior citizens said that they had presented their list of demands as well as grievances and were told that an official meeting would be fixed at a later date where all these issues could be deliberated upon further and action would be taken accordingly
With regards to difficulties in availing pending benefits, senior citizens said they can only apply for a concession on bus tickets if they possess a social welfare card and that other identity documents like Aadhaar Card, EPIC, etc are not accepted. They said that this is a big problem as most seniors don’t possess social welfare cards and hence are not getting concession on bus fare.
Senior citizens said there is not enough protection with regards to cases of assault, harassment, etc.
They criticised the District and Deputy Collector for failing to implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 properly.
They said that besides this Act, even matters under criminal procedure code are not handled properly and that those seniors who should get justice within three months are forced to wait for almost a year, if not more, and that in their age, time is of the essence to get their cases resolved.
They said that the Deputy Collector did not offer adequate police protection or interim relief to a lady from Assolna, who was thrown out of her house 10 months ago. They alleged that her case was also wrongly dismissed, not in accordance with the provisions of the law. The sad part they said is that this lady still cannot enter her house.
They discussed the issue with the Minister as well along with other cases under protection of life and property, which they claimed are not being handled properly.
Finally, they called upon the Social Welfare Department to help their organisation in celebrating World Elder’s Day on October 1 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao on a grand scale.